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CADETS BREAK COLLEGIATE PARACHUTING RECORD

Air Force Academy cadets form up while attempting to break the largest formation collegiate record with a 46-person formation March 31, 2012, in Gila Bend, Ariz. The cadets broke their own record of a 41-person formation they set March 2008. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

Air Force Academy cadets form up while attempting to break the largest formation collegiate record with a 46-person formation March 31, 2012, in Gila Bend, Ariz. The cadets broke their own record of a 41-person formation they set March 2008. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AFNS) -- The Air Force Wings of Blue Parachute Demonstration Team broke the collegiate record for largest formation March 31 in Gila Bend, Ariz.

Forty-six cadets jumped from 16,500 feet and took 52 seconds to build the formation. They held the formation for 10 seconds before breaking off at 6,500 feet.

The team actually broke their own record of a 41-person formation that they set in March 2008.

The plan was to set a 48-person record, but with poor weather cutting the number of attempts from a planned 10 jumps to five, they had to cut two cadets from the jump to have a better chance of completing it. The team made three attempts on the first day and eventually completed the attempt on the second jump of the second day.

Overall, more than 75 people were involved in the jump including six pilots, three videographers and three maintainers. There were nine sophomores, 22 juniors and 15 seniors in the formation. The oldest cadet was 25-year-old Cadet 1st Class Shawn Johnson, who completed his 901st jump during the attempt. The youngest was 19-year-old Cadet 3rd Class David Moore, who completed his 149th jump.